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It looks like the Cyclones won’t get much of a break after opening their season with wins over Utah Valley and Boise State on Friday night. This week the Cyclones will face a much stiffer test in MAC opponent Central Michigan as they will be heading to Mt. Pleasant, Michigan on Thursday at 6:00 CT. The Chippewas don’t feature a ton high ceiling talent, but they are led by a couple top ten wrestlers in Zach Horan (141) and Luke Smith (157). (Intermat rankings used)
125- Brent Fleetwood vs. Kyle Larson
This is a weight where it appears we are still learning about the Cyclone’s lightest wrestler as he was majored by Tolbert of Utah Valley. Not that we were expecting Larson to step in and immediately fill the hole that All-American Earl Hall left behind, but his opening performance was an unexpected result. Now the other side of the coin is that it is just one match – and on top of that, his first “real” D1 match of the year. This would be a good match for Larson to get back on track against Fleetwood, and capitalize on the true freshman’s inexperience.
133- Tyler Keselring vs. #12 Earl Hall
Keserlring looks to be the guy for CMU as they are redshirting Cory Keener who had a productive first year at 125. Keselring is off to strong start to his season as he scored a technical fall over Matt Ligget of Clarion, and then defeated Dominick Malone of Northwestern 4-3. The good news is Hall was equally, if not more dominant with a major and fall this past weekend. I think Hall continues his good start.
141- #12 Zach Horan vs. John Meeks
This will be a key matchup for the Cyclones and John Meeks. Not because I think the dual depends on this match, but a win here for Meeks would really help out fans who were also a bit surprised by Meeks performance out West last weekend. Meeks started out really strong picking up back-to-back takedowns against Utah Valley, but after that his opponent was able to crawl back into that match. He then lost Martinez of Boise State 9-5. If Meeks goes out and falls to Horan there isn’t much to get disappointed about, Horan is solid, but you would like to see Meeks right the ship early on.
149- Colin Heffernan vs. Gabe Moreno
Gabe Moreno is off to a 2-0 start with a couple hard earned victories in Idaho. To me I think Gabe looks a lot stronger at 149, so the weight change is playing into his favor to this point.Heffernan’s only win to this point is a pinfall over Sam Sherlock of Clarion, so there isn’t too much to judge him on to this point, but I liked what I saw from Gabe on Friday night.
157- #9 Luke Smith vs. Luke Goettl
Gottel will be in a similar situation to John Meeks in that he will be going up against one of Central Michigan’s best wrestlers so while a win would certainly be something Cyclone fans would love to see, Gottel will be going up against one of the nations top 157 pound wrestlers in the country. Gottel had a nice win over Addis of Utah Valley, but was also pinned in his match against Boise State. I think we will need more time to determine what kind of wrestler Gottel will be in his new weight class.
165- Jordan Wohlfert vs. #3 Mike Moreno
Wohlfert is off to a 2-1 start to the year, but asking him to defeat Mike Moreno still feels like a large task. Moreno picked up a pair of falls this past weekend, and while I wouldn’t predict the same result in Michigan, I think Moreno is more than capable of handling Wohlfert. I don’t think Moreno will face a real test this month until the Cyclones head to Iowa City to face the Hawkeyes.
174- Jordan Ellingwood vs. #6 Tanner Weatherman
It’s clear that the strength of this Iowa State lineup is it’s upperweights, and it starts with Mike Moreno, but Weatherman could be on the verge of a breakout season. Last year Weatherman was on the verge of becoming an All-American, but when the weight class has a top six like this one did last year, one tiny mistake was all that it took to eliminate all hope of making the stand. With the top top wrestlers in this class graduating it’s time for Weatherman to shine and since I see him as a top eight wrestler, I see Weatherman having little issue with Central Michigan.
184- Jackson Lewis vs. #18 Lelund Weatherspoon
Weatherspoon appears to be much stronger this year, and that is most likely because he is a true 184, as opposed to bumping from 174 like he did last year. Lewis was 2-1 this past weekend for Central Michigan, so he could be a decent matchup for Lelund. Weatherspoon will need his “A” game on Sunday when the Cyclones face Michigan State, so hopefully he picks up a win here and is riding a hot streak when he faces Rizqallah of Michigan State.
197- Austin Severn vs. #3 Kyven Gadson
Gadson was yet another Cyclone who had a dominant start to his season and to Gadson’s credit he hasn’t slipped up to lesser competition in his career. Since he isn’t facing anyone named Schiller or Cox (whom he’s actually beaten) this week, I look for him to continue his good start, with potential bonus opportunities.
285- Newton Smerchek vs. Quean Smith
Smith was able to get the job done and go 2-0 last weekend and he will be meeting up with an opponent who is 0-3. Taking a look at just records isn’t the most reliable way to predict a wrestling match, but I thought Smith looked good on Friday and since Smerchek isn’t an elite heavyweight, I think Smith should do just fine.
In the end I will be predicting a Cyclone victory, I am just not sure what the score will be. After 157, I just don’t see how Central Michigan can match any of the Cyclone wrestlers, and I think the potential to bonus wil be in the Cyclone’s favor as well.